What to do if your bicycle is stolen

Always report bike theft to the police

Even if you don't think you're likely to get your bicycle back, it's worth reporting the theft so decision-makers know the extent of the problem, and we can push for a greater police response.

Provide as much information as you can, including:

  • The frame number
  • Type of bike
  • A photo
  • Details of where and when it was stolen

Crime figures are an important measure for the police and can influence how they distribute their resources.

Report the theft online

You can report a theft online or contact the police by telephone on 0300 123 1212 (non-emergencies).

If it's an emergency, call 999.

You can also report a crime in person at any police station.

When you report the theft ask for your 'CAD' (Computer Aided Despatch) or 'CRIS' (Crime Reference Information System) number. Having a number will help you to trace the progress of your case.

If you have insurance

If you have theft insurance, you must report the theft to your insurance company or insurance broker. Keep in mind that while some insurance companies are happy with a police crime number, while others require additional evidence such a broken lock and your key.

Some bike locks now come with a anti-theft guarantee, this works like insurance and you should make a claim as soon as possible.

Searching for your bike

Websites like  Bikeshd and Find that bike provide photos of all bikes posted for sale every day on the web at sites like Gumtree, ebay and Craig's list. You can also check local markets and cash converters which often sell second hand bikes.

You can hand out flyers with a photo to local second hand bike dealers or cash converters and post messages on social media sites like Stolen Bikes UK or London Fixed and Single Speed Forum .

What to do if you spot your bike

If you are sure its yours  call the police on 999 or 101, or if you are in London, send an email to cycletaskforce@met.police.uk. The London police Cycle Task Force is a specialised police unit that is experienced at tackling online sales of stolen bikes.

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